‘The Marvels’ Review – The Worst Written MCU Film Of All Time

Brie Larson as Captain Marvel in The Marvels (2023), Marvel Studios

It’s been a long road to get us to the latest episode of the longest-running soap opera and cinematic history; otherwise known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

(L-R): Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers, and Teyonah Parris as Captain Monica Rambeau in Marvel Studios’ THE MARVELS. Photo by Laura Radford. © 2023 MARVEL.

Brie Larson became a household name not because of her Oscar-winning performance in The Room but because of a tone-deaf comment the actress made defending Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time, wherein she attempted to shield the Disney-produced film from bad reviews — shamelessly declaring that she didn’t want to hear from a “40-year-old white dude” what didn’t work about the film.

Larson didn’t take well to white men criticizing a film that was targeted towards young black and biracial girls. It was one very arrogant comment that led to an internet firestorm that Brie Larson would find herself the face of for many years to come.

Brie Larson as Captain Marvel in MCU's The Marvels
Brie Larson as Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers in Marvel Studios’ THE MARVELS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 MARVEL.

With the Hollywood hype machine behind her, on the guise of Captain Marvel being the first female lead superhero in Marvel Studios history, Brie Larson was given the keys to the MCU in 2018. What happened after that was a series of events that nearly destroyed the Marvel fan base.

Mainstream media could not allow any narrative out there that Marvel’s first female hero was introduced in a mediocre film. When bad reviews of  Captain Marvel started to circulate on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes,  major media Publications went on the offensive to the fame of anyone criticizing the film as misogynistic and incels. Rotten Tomatoes went so far as to defend Captain Marvel they ended up changing the audience review system to prevent fans from leaving negative reviews of the film, giving the public perception that the movie was more favorable than was.

Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) is excited to meet Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) in The Marvels (2023), Marvel Entertainment
Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) is excited to meet Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) in The Marvels (2023), Marvel Entertainment

Brie Larson was Disney’s cash cow and mainstream media going out of its way to protect her made sense. Unfortunately for Disney, a lot has changed in the course of the last couple of years. The House of Mouse has been struggling with one MCU flop after another while simultaneously trying to figure out which direction they want to be taking in the future.

Larson was given the title of strongest MCU character until Marvel decided that she wouldn’t be enough to sell audiences for a sequel. So, instead of getting a proper Captain Marvel 2 movie, we ended up getting Larson’s character teaming up with a couple of characters who were given the spotlight in two series Marvel released on Disney’s streaming service; Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan.

Monica Rambeau (Teyonnah Parris) fully embraces her Photon powers in The Marvels (2023), Marvel Entertainment
Monica Rambeau (Teyonnah Parris) fully embraces her Photon powers in The Marvels (2023), Marvel Entertainment

On the one hand we have Monica Rambeau — technically introduced as a child in Captain Marvel and re-introduced as an adult in WandaVision — who is perhaps best known for uttering one of the worst lines of dialogue in an MCU production. “They’ll never know what you sacrificed for them,” Rambeau said to Wanda after the Scarlet Witch freed an entire town of people she had been enslaving in a desperate attempt to live out her fantasy life.

On the other hand we have Kamala Khan, who was introduced in Ms. Marvel and is the most astroturfed superhero that Marvel has put out in the last decade.

The Marvels movie review
Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan in Marvel Studios’ MS. MARVEL, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Daniel McFadden. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Marvel spent so much time and money trying to convince audiences that Kamala Khan was a popular comic book character that company executives convinced themselves that she actually was one. Ms. Marvel, however, is the lowest-viewed Disney+ show to date. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what brings us to The Marvels; a film that has been delayed several times throughout the last couple of years.

Behind the scenes rumors of Brie Larson claim the actress is not happy with the fact that her star power was being taken away from her. All of this coupled with writing headaches and purported creative dissension.

Teyonah Parris as Captain Monica Rambeau in Marvel Studios’ THE MARVELS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 MARVEL.

It’s amazing to think that one of the most expensive MCU movies of all time could be one of the biggest missteps Marvel has taken. The Marvels is a story about the new leader of the Kree Supremor Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton). After Captain Marvel destroys Supreme Intelligence, the planet of Hala is left in ruins. Dar-Benn attempts to retrieve the Quantum Bands to restore her planet. The problem is one of the bands is in the hands of Kamala Khan on Earth.

As a result of a tear in space and time, Khan, Carol Danvers, and Monica Rambeau switch places every time any of the heroes uses their powers. The group discovers that their light-based powers are linked through quantum entanglement, and they must team up if they want to stand a chance of saving the universe from Dar-Benn.

Brie Larson as Captain Marvel in The Marvels
Brie Larson as Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers in Marvel Studios’ THE MARVELS. Photo by Laura Radford. © 2023 MARVEL.

Modern Hollywood believes that if there’s a superhero that has a female lead, everyone involved behind the camera must also be a woman. It doesn’t matter whether those women are qualified to be in their positions — the only thing that matters is gender representation. The Marvels is a film that is written by three different women: Nia DaCosta, Megan McDonnell, and Elissa Karasik. These women combine for to produce one of the most disjointed, unorganized films in recent memory.

For those of you coming in expecting this film to be a woke disaster, I’m sad to say that it’s not one. It would be better if it was, though, because that way the film would have given you something to talk about. Instead, Marvel delivers a completely unbalanced film that doesn’t know what its own purpose is supposed to be. 

Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan in Marvel Studios’ THE MARVELS. Photo by Laura Radford. © 2023 MARVEL.

The character of Captain Marvel has been essentially non-existent since Avengers: Endgame. The film does a poor job of reinvigorating its audiences with Carol Danvers. She’s a superhero with a lot of powers and that’s as far as the script goes.

Carol Danvers is joined Monica Rambeau, played by Teyonah Parris, who was somehow given superpowers after walking through Scarlet Witch’s forcefield in WandaVision; a show that came out two years ago. The film’s writing is so mediocre that it gives Monica nothing to work with as a character outside of a vague past relationship with Carol that was established in Captain Marvel, even though the actresses never share a scene in it.

Brie Larson as Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers in Marvel Studios’ THE MARVELS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 MARVEL.

The cherry on top of this film was supposed to be Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan, but her character exposes a fatal flaw in modern Hollywood; writing teenagers as if they were toddlers. Vellani’s character is no exception, as Kamala Khan acts as if she were 10 years younger than she actually is.

Marvel executives believed that Kamala Khan’s character would be a sleeper hit for the movie. They thought that audiences would adhere themselves to her character because they were tricked by the lies mainstream media manufactured about her popularity. The biggest sin of this film is that there’s nothing to talk about. There are no cringe-worthy moments for YouTubers to make bank off, there’s zero emphasis on woke dialogue, and there’s not even a coherent story for audiences to follow along. 

Monica Rambeau (Teyonnah Parris) and Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) exchange some typical Marvel humor in The Marvels (2023), Marvel Entertainment
Monica Rambeau (Teyonnah Parris) and Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) exchange some typical Marvel humor in The Marvels (2023), Marvel Entertainment

It’s not even until the credits begin to roll that you realize that this film cannot justify its own existence. Zawe Ashton is miscast as the villain and is only in the film to meet the film’s gender diversity quota. Brie Larson’s film presence is relegated to a singing number and her double dutch to the Beastie Boys playing in the background. And then there’s Samuel L. Jackson, who returns as Nick Fury but serves absolutely no purpose to the plot; making us wonder why he’s even in the movie.

As far as quality goes, whether The Marvels is worse than the Eternals is up for debate. However, there is no arguing the fact that Marvel is a bottom-five MCU film of all time. 

NEXT: ‘The Exorcist: Believer’ Review – A Biblically Illiterate Disaster

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